AUBURN — He wasn’t wishing it on his own team, but it was one of those situations that Marty Bressler couldn’t help but wonder about.

So when his St. Dom’s soccer team fell behind Tuesday in the first minute of play, the Saints coach had his chance for an answer.

His unbeaten Saints shook off that early deficit against Hall-Dale and tied the game before halftime. The top two teams in Western C went scoreless the rest of the way, settling for a 1-1 tie.

“I thought it was a great test for us,” said Bressler. “They’re an excellent team and well-coached. They’re fantastic to watch. In a way, I was happy to see what would happen if we fell behind. I wanted to see how gritty and resilient we were.”

St. Dom’s (11-0-1)  was ranked first in Western C while Hall-Dale (10-0-1) were second. The Bulldogs have scored 74 goals this season and allowed just three, while posting eight shutouts.

So Bressler was stressing to his kids that they needed to be ready to work from behind if the case presented itself.

“I told the kids before the game that whatever the score, we can’t panic,” said Bressler, whose own club has netted 59 goals and allowed just eight with six shutouts. “As long as we played our game and did what we had to do and worked with our style, we could come back.”

Sure enough, the Bulldogs struck quickly. Spencer Shagoury sent a pass from the midfield ahead to Nat Crocker. He burst in alone and put it past a charging Ben Sawyer in goal at :48.

“We were looking for that second goal,” said Hall-Dale coach Andy Haskell. “That’s always key. We had plenty of chances in the first half.”

Both keepers were superb. Sawyer made 14 saves, including a number of spectacular stops that kept the Saints in the game. Sam Shepherd made eight saves for the Bulldogs. He also got some stellar play from defenders. Kurt Thiele cleared a shot away from an open net in the first half while Ezra Jones blocked a Tyler Furtado shot in overtime.

“I thought it was a tightly contested game by two quality clubs that were itching at this point in the season to have one of these games,” said Haskell.

Hall-Dale had a pair of prime chances to build on its early lead. Colin Lush had a free kick headed by Crocker that Sawyer made a diving stop on. Then Zach Plummer hit the left post.

St. Dom’s got the equalizer with 8:31 left in the half. Hall-Dale struggled to clear with Shepherd out of the net. Rob Pallozzi got the ball in front for a quick poke that went in before the keeper could fully recover.

“It was just great hustle and great crashing the net,” said Bressler.

Though Hall-Dale were the aggressors for much of the first half and had the Saints chasing, St. Dom’s began to play stronger in the second half. Both teams had great chances but came up scoreless.

Hall-Dale had a shot hit the crossbar, but neither Tyler Fitzgerald nor Zach McNaughton could convert the rebound. Crocker had a number of tries. He beat a defender for an open shot that went just wide of the right post. He had another bid at the left side that Sawyer made a nice sprawling save on. Sawyer also made a diving stop on Lush late in regulation.

The Saints had a chance when Bill Soper was in front with a loose ball, but he couldn’t get a shot off. Calvin Stewart and Pallozzi each put shots wide. Ryan Lutzykowki, who set up Pallozzi’s goal, outhustled three defenders for a flick that was saved by Shepherd.

“I felt like we possessed the ball better in the second half,” said Bressler.

In overtime, St. Dom’s had some great chances. Furtado had the one blocked by Jones with the goalie out of position. Will Desmaris had a shot off a rebound that was saved.

“In overtime, they had a couple of real good plays,” said Haskell. “Late in regulation, I thought we carried play and had a few chances.”

The two clubs will likely meet again Wednesday, Oct. 17 in the Mountain Valley Championship game in Wiscasset.

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